A report from the 2010 Charrette…

Hey Everyone!! Please join Preserve Portsmouth for a cup of coffee at the picnic tables this Saturday at the 4H Fair in Portsmouth. We will be there between 10:00am-12:00 noon. Let’s discuss the happenings in Farming and other Landuse deals in Portsmouth!! Location is Glen Park pavillion area, off of Glen Road. C u there!

DEM Division chief Ken Ayers speaking on the porch of the Brown House

DEM Division chief Ken Ayers speaking about the importance of local foods and farms

On July 7, 2010 Preserve Portsmouth invited Ken Ayars, Chief of the RI DEM Division of Agriculture to an informal lunch gathering on the front yard of the Brown House at Portsmouth’s Glen Farm.

Mr. Ayars spoke about the importance of local food and preserving local farms, and lead a question and answer session following.

Thanks to every one who attended despite the heat wave. To read more please see local news blog Hard Deadlines

Folks, it is time for a meeting to get all of the issues on the table relating to the proposed expansion of Greenvale Vineyards, and the issues at Glen Ridge Farm.(The Alpaca Farm) Please try to attend. October 15th 7:00 p.m.

If you would like more info. please email Conniharding@aol.com

Here’s a letter from a local Portsmouth resident which is relevant to the issue at the Alpaca farm:

As a student of Portsmouth history in general and the Glen area history in particular, I would like to share some of what I learned about the Glen Ridge Farm area. I attended the June session of the planning board and listened to arguments proposing a road running through the property to facilitate a new housing development.  I understand the practical arguments for an ideal road running along the shore.  I know that this road is part of the goals of the town plan.  However, I hope you will consider the historical significance of the area and support other ideas that preserve Glen Ridge Farm.  Portsmouth farm heritage has been strong from the roots of settlement and as a community we should be preserving farms and historic buildings and landscapes while we still have them.

The land in and around Glen Ridge Farm has a history that reflects the history of our town.  It was part of an original land grant given to William Brenton and then sold to members of the Cook family who served in town offices from the 1640’s on.  It was an area that served as a ferry landing for the Fogland Ferry to Tiverton. The land went through a number of Yankee farm families including that of Captain John Stanton until H.A.C. Taylor bought the land in the 1880’s.  Taylor was a New York businessman who established Glen Farm to be a model farm dedicated to raising the best livestock.  His son Moses Taylor added the stone horse barns you see at Glen Ridge Farm today.  The horse barns originally housed the Percheron horses that the Taylors bred, but also were home to the Taylors’ own riding horses.  The 1925 barn structures were added to an already existing frame barn structure that is very old and maybe one of the oldest barns in our area.  Another building in the compound served as a garage for the Taylor cars and as the headquarters for the Glen Farm Fire Truck (which served at Prudence Island and is being restored today.)

Sincerely yours,

Gloria Schmidt

From the press release of 11/18/2008

PROVIDENCE—Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts, Chairwoman of the Small Business Advocacy Council (SBAC) announced this morning the launch of Buy Local RI, a new economic development initiative to support local businesses. The initial phase of Buy Local RI will be a public awareness campaign encouraging Rhode Islanders to support our local businesses by shopping locally for the holidays.

“The economy in Rhode Island is struggling,” Roberts said. “As we look at our economy turning down, we need to invest our dollars here in Rhode Island. One of the best things we can do is to support local businesses. We know that Rhode Island is home to thousands of unique artists, artisans, retailers, manufacturers, cafes, restaurants and farmers whose small businesses are locally owned and crucial to our neighborhoods, our quality of life, and Rhode Island’s overall economy.”

Roberts and members of the Small Business Advocacy Council were joined by Providence Mayor David Cicilline, members of local Chambers of Commerce, local business owners and Doug Hammond, a national expert in building local first initiatives. “Many communities throughout the state have already begun to embrace the idea through local initiatives from Newport County and South County, to the Blackstone Valley and Providence,” Roberts said. “Through Buy Local RI I have committed to serve as the catalyst to connect these existing efforts and help raise their visibility.”

Roberts announced a series of “Main Street” events she will hold across the state which will build on existing local initiatives and highlight the opportunities and benefits of choosing to Buy Local RI during the holiday season. “In the next few weeks, as you shop for the holidays,” Roberts said, “think about your local merchant first.” The first “Main Street” event is scheduled for Wednesday, November 19th in downtown Westerly. Additional “Main Street” events include Greenville, Providence, Wickford, Warren and Newport, among others. The Buy Local RI initiative will extend beyond the holiday season with the creation of a working group, to include members of the Small Business Advocacy Council and key BuyRI constituencies, to develop a network organization and a website dedicated to expanding the market for local businesses and products by connecting people to Rhode Island businesses.

Lt. Governor’s web site is http://www.ltgov.state.ri.us/

You are invited to meet John R. MacArthur, author of “You Can’t Be President: The Outrageous Barriers to Democracy in America” and publisher of Harper’s Magazine.

He will be appearing at Green Valley Country Club in Portsmouth on Thursday evening, November 20th from 6:30pm -8:30pm.

Our community is the subject of a chapter in his book where we fought Big Box development and WON! We are showcased as part of the “positive democratic process” that can happen in this country.

His book will be for sale; making a great gift, and refreshments will be available. Come check it out…

For a small sampling go the below link. Make sure you scroll down to the bottom of the first page!!


Preserve Portsmouth is inviting you to Greenvale Vineyards,
Wapping Rd. this coming Thursday, May 8th at 6:00 p.m.
Let’s celebrate Spring, get together and share recent developments.

Please let us know if you can attend. Reply to info@preserveportsmouth.org.

At the Town Council Meeting, Monday, February 4th a size cap of 45,000 sq ft was passed. Thank you to Connie Harding, other members of Preserve Portsmouth and residents of Portsmouth that have participated in the meetings this fall and winter.

For additional details about the Town Council Meeting and the size cap see the Newport Daily News article:



Next Town Council meeting is Monday February 4th at 7:00 p.m. in the Town Council Chamber’s.


We are asking our Town Council, the folks that “we” elected to implement a 35,000 square foot retail buiding size cap.

What this means is that no single use retailer shall be larger than 35,000 square feet.

We all know that Portsmouth as well as other communities need to increase their commercial tax bases. What we’ve learned is that this type of commercial business, large retail, puts other small businesses out. It’s rarely a net gain in jobs or tax revenues,because extra services are needed.

Please feel free to contact Preserve Portsmouth if you’d like to discuss this further.